News Article – 

NASDA Foundation joined a national research team led by the University of Kentucky to explore the impact the COVID-19 pandemic on local and regional food systems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Services Division is partnering with the University of Kentucky, Colorado State University and Penn State University on a $1 million cooperative research agreement to conduct a national study on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on local food systems. The study seeks to answer how sectors of local and regional food systems are responding to COVID-19, what successful adaptations have been implemented, what obstacles the various arms of local food systems have encountered and the economic and value-chain impacts. NASDA Foundation joins 16 other organizations nationwide to serve as Community of Practice Coordinating Organizations (COPCO) for the University of Kentucky research team.

“NASDA Foundation is honored to be part of such a dynamic team trying to address the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our local and regional food systems. We hope this project will help farmers become more resilient and better able to weather market disruptions they face in the future,” NASDA Foundation Executive Director Dr. Lisa Benson said.

The NASDA Foundation will work with state departments of agriculture to identify strategies and innovations they have used to address COVID-19 shocks and translate those insights into readily accessible and educational materials. Other COPCO partners include the James Beard Foundation, Farm to Institution New England (FINE), Farmers Market Coalition and Wallace Center at Winrock International.